Ambitious Amazon eyes up UK content and event series
James R | On 08, Feb 2017
From The Grand Tour to The Man in the High Castle, Amazon’s original productions have become increasingly ambitious in recent years – and at the start of 2017, the online giant is only thinking bigger.
Last year, the US streaming service premiered its first ever British production: period fashion drama The Collection, produced by Lookout Point and Artis Pictures Production – and co-produced with BBC Worldwide. Filming in both Wales and France, it marked the start of Amazon’s growing presence in the UK production scene, at the same time as Netflix also banked on British talent with its royal drama, The Crown.
The trend is only set to continue: Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, told Variety last year that the company was planning to appoint a commissioning executive in London, to head up original, non-US content. Amazon has meanwhile invested in a host of British shows, giving it the exclusive international rights to BBC Three’s Fleabag and Channel 4’s Catastrophe.
Price said “a good show tends to travel” and that there was not much difference in the tastes of Amazon’s multi-territory audiences.
Now, Broadcast reports that Amazon will definitely have a UK-based content team “up and running” by the second quarter of this year.
Amazon Studios is also looking to diversify the kind of content it produces. According to Deadline, the company’s production arm is intending to move into limited and event TV series, hiring Fox international TV veteran Sharon Tal Yguado to oversee the new venture.
Yguado, whose job has been newly created, will build a team “focused on the development and production of big scope, big event genre series”, says Deadline, spanning science fiction, action, fantasy and horror series. The division will be distinct from Amazon’s existing drama and comedy production arm, which is run by Joe Lewis. Yguado will report to Price.
Yguado joins Amazon after being Fox’s EVP Global Scripted Programming, with 13 years at the broadcaster under her belt, supervising such projects for the Fox International Channels as AMC’s The Walking Dead and FX’s Legion.